Comfort Food Recipes
36 Recipes Straight From Farmers’ Wives
Get the down-home flavor of a rustic recipe with these dishes we received from farmers' wives.
Every spring, we had strawberries and rhubarb on our farm outside Seattle. These fruity hand pies remind me of those times and of Grandma Winnie’s baking. —Shawn Carleton, San Diego, California
I grew up on a farm, so I took part in 4-H Club cooking activities. I still love to prepare and serve classic, wholesome recipes such as this meat and veggie pie. —Susan Keith, Fort Plain, New York
Like many cooks, I often combine the best parts of different recipes to come up with my own original, and that's how "Zucchini in Dill Cream Sauce" was created. It's a great way to use two of my favorite foods. My husband, Albert, and I were dairy farmers until we retired in 1967, so I always use fresh, real dairy products in my recipes. We recently celebrated our 50th anniversary. We live on 3 acres now and grow a small garden—with a couple zucchini hills, of course!
Because this recipe feeds so many, I often take it to church dinners and potlucks. This colorful dish also comes in handy when we have lots of help to feed on our farm. —Verlyn Wilson, Wilkinson, Indiana
Here on our 1,250-acre farm, we usually have a quick breakfast on the go. So I often keep a batch of these light and moist doughnuts on hand. They disappear quickly because no one can eat just one! —Suzanne Christensen, Defiance, Iowa
Crispy, juicy and perfectly seasoned, this really is the best fried chicken recipe, ever. Summer reunions and neighborly gatherings will never be the same. When I was growing up, my parents had a farm, and every year, Dad would hire teenage boys to help by haying time. They looked forward to coming because they knew they would be treated to some of Mom's deep fryer recipes, including this delicious fried chicken. —Lola Clifton, Vinton, Virginia
I combine seven easy ingredients for this salmon patty recipe. When I was a girl growing up on the farm, my mom often fixed these when we were late in the field. These salmon cakes are also tasty with chopped green peppers added to the mixture. —Bonnie Evans, Cameron, North Carolina
I grew up helping my mom make a lot in our farmhouse kitchen; roasts, soups, pies and strawberry shortcakes. This sunny strawberry shortcake recipe brings back memories of family summers on the farm. —Janet Becker, Anacortes, Washington
Like most farmers, my husband loves a good, hearty chili. With all the vegetables, cheese and meat in it, this dish makes a super supper—and it comes together in one skillet on top of the stove. I serve it frequently in fall and winter. —Katherine Brown, Fredericktown, Ohio
Mom always managed to put a delicious hearty meal on the table for us and for our farmhands. This all-in-one comforting pork chops recipe reminds me of home. —Bernice Morris, Marshfield, Missouri
My husband and I grow 500 acres of wheat on the farm his family homesteaded in 1889. I grind my own flour and love to use it in this recipe. The easy, pat-in crust has a rich grain flavor. It’s irresistible filled with old-fashioned coconut cream and topped with a fluffy meringue. —Roberta Foster, Kingfisher, Oklahoma
When I was a little girl, I helped my parents work the fields of their small farm. Lunchtime was always a treat when Mother picked fresh vegetables from the garden and simmered them in her big soup pot. We loved making this delicious recipe. —Ethel Ledbetter, Canton, North Carolina
The recipe for these tangy lemon bars comes from my cousin Bernice, a farmer's wife famous for cooking up feasts. — Mildred Keller, Rockford, Illinois
My husband and I raise cattle on our farm here in southwestern Ontario, so it's no surprise that we're fond of these saucy meatballs. I know your family will like them, too. —Marion Foster, Kirkton, Ontario
Both my husband and I were raised on farms, and we prefer home cooking to eating out. That works out fine since I love trying new recipes! I've served this apple salsa as an appetizer and a snack. Plus, it's sweet enough to be a dessert. It's easy to transport besides. —Carolyn Brinkmeyer, Golden, Colorado
My grandma made the tastiest snacks for us when we stayed the night at her farm. Her wonderful pizza, hot from the oven, was covered with cheese and had fragrant herbs in the crust. Now this pizza is frequently a meal for my husband and me and our family. —Michele Madden, Washington Court House, Ohio
As a cattle rancher, my husband's a big fan of beef. For him to comment on a poultry dish is rare. But he always tells me, "I love this casserole!" I first tasted it at a potluck; now, I fix it for my family (we have a 3-year-old daughter) once or twice a month, and I'm asked to take it to most every get-together. —Rochelle Brownlee, Big Timber, Montana
Chicken and Sunday dinner belong together. During my married life on a dairy farm, I'd make this baked bbq chicken before church. — Esther Shank, Harrisonburg, Virginia
On our busy farm, meals need to be ready fast. These herb-seasoned potatoes and vegetables wrapped in foil packets cook in only half an hour. They're excellent with steak or chicken. —Jill Jellett, Leduc, Alberta
To tell you the truth, I'm not sure how well my crumble keeps...we usually eat it all in a day! You can skip the apples and strawberries in the recipe—like I do sometimes—But they do make this quick-and-easy dessert extra good. Although our address in Alberta, our farm's actually just inside the Saskatchewan border. We grow grain and raise cattle. Our children are 10 and 7.
The aroma of this pie baking in my farm kitchen oven reminds me of my dear grandma who made this pretty pie for special occasions. —Beverly Medalen, Willow City, North Dakota
My husband and I are oyster farmers, and this classic dish always delights our guests. It's deliciously simple! —Beth Walton, Eastham, Massachusetts
These bars are always a hit at potlucks here in the small rural farming community where my husband and I live. I also like to provide them for coffee hour after church. They're so moist and delicious that wherever I take them, they don't last long. —Karen Dryak, Niobrara, Nebraska
My husband is a rancher who loves a hearty potato dish, so consider these spuds with cheddar and spinach cowboy-approved. My crowd never leaves leftovers. —Jody Augustyn, Loup City, Nebraska
Meet the Cook: We used to raise our own hogs. This recipe was given me by a fellow farmer who also had pork on the dinner table a couple of times a week. I'm a dietitian at the local VA hospital. Cooking, of course, is one of my top pastimes! My husband and I have four children and one grandson. -Denise Collins, Chillicothe, Ohio
My wife, Paula, and I produce red and green seedless table grapes on our 75-acre vineyard. Our crop is wonderful eaten out-of-hand or in salads. Paula also uses them in this unusual and tasty pie.—Salvage Island Farm, Fred Smeds, Reedley, California
My mom, Velma Perkins, loved to serve these light, golden rolls when I was growing up on our Iowa farm. They're extra nice since they require no kneading. The dough rises in the refrigerator overnight, so there's little last-minute fuss to serve fresh hot rolls with any meal. —Toni Hilscher Omaha, Nebraska
I've made this pie many times for friends, relatives, guests, church suppers and bazaars, and I'm always getting requests for the recipe. I've lived on farms all my life—we used to have a potato farm on Long Island, and now my son farms his own land and manages mine here in Delaware, growing soybeans and wheat. —Elizabeth Brown, Clayton, Delaware
We live on the eastern edge of the Sand Hills here in Nebraska, where most folks are ranchers. This popular pepper steak recipe is tasty as well as colorful.
While being raised on a farm I often ate rhubarb, so it's natural for me to use it in a pie. I prefer to use lard for the flaky pie crust and thin, red rhubarb stalks for the filling. These two little secrets helped this recipe win top honors at the 2013 Iowa State Fair. —Marianne Carlson, Jefferson, Iowa